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Why/double consonant

Forum > English only || Bottom

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Why/double consonant
Message from educacion74 posted on 04-02-2021 at 09:12:26 (D | E | F)
Hello everyone.
I have been following the lesson on words that double their last consonant and I don't know why "equal" does it.
1- It does NOT follow the rule for monosyllables (neither is it) VCV.
2- The stress does NOT fall on the last syllable.
3- It does NOT end in W,X,Y
4- It DOES end in Vowel+Consonant. Although here I have doubts because there are two vowels together and perhaps they form a diphthong and I don´t know if this rule works in this case.
5- The only thing I can think of is that it is doubled because it is American English. Speaking of which... another question.
6- Would it be grammatically correct to mix British and American English, or could you be failed an exam for it?

Could someone please help me with this?
Thank you very much in advance for the answers.

Re: Why/double consonant from gerondif, posted on 04-02-2021 at 15:20:20 (D | E)
You forget one thing: an adjective turns into an adverb when you add ly to it.
Rapid, rapidly.
Strong, strongly.
nice, nicely
Equal, equally.
Exceptional, exceptionally.
Vital, vitally.
Minimal, minimally.
dismal, dismally.
final, finally.
Phonetics have nothing to do with it here.

If you add y to a noun to turn it into an adjective, you may have to double the consonant to prevent the previous vowel to turn into a diphtong.
A star, a starry night.(but scare will give scary, there is no need to "protect" the a which is already pronounced . When you take off the e, you don't need to put in an extra consonant in order for the diphtong to remaina diphtong.)
A leg, a leggy person's, leggings...
Fur, a furry cat.
a bag, baggy trousers.
metal will become metallic. Metal is stressed on the first syllabe but you need a double l to prevent the a from turning into a diphtong. It wasn't stressed anyway but needs to stay that way, protected by the double l.

6) I wouldn't recommend mixing British English and American English. When I was at university, the students who had spent a year in the States tried to rub out of their langage all americanisms for the oral of our competitive exam for teaching (Capes) I mean, sort of, etc.
Sometimes, words have a different meaning, like subway and underground, or first floor and ground floor, so better be consistent.

Re: Why/double consonant from educacion74, posted on 05-02-2021 at 00:26:28 (D | E)
Thank you very much for your reply. Very comprehensive and complete. Thank you for telling me about the rule of turning an adjective into an adverb "LY", or a noun into an adjective. I loved it.
But in this case "Equal" I take it as a verb, and when I conjugate it the consonant is doubled and I would like to know if there is a reason for that. Would it be a phonetic reason?
Preterite: equalled
Present Continuous: equalling

Thank you very much for the previous answer and let's see if someone can solve the mystery of doubling the consonant in equalling as a verb.

Re: Why/double consonant from gerondif, posted on 05-02-2021 at 00:47:32 (D | E)
A double click on equal gives this :
UK : */ˈiːkwəl/US:/ˈikwəl/ ,(ē′kwəl)

Inflections of 'equal' (v): (⇒ conjugate)
When both "l" and "ll" forms exist, spellings with a double "l" are correct, but rare, in US English, while those with a single "l" are not correct in UK English.

equals v 3rd person singular
equalling v pres p (Mainly UK)
equaling v pres p (US)
equalled v past (Mainly UK)
equaled v past (US)
equalled v past p (Mainly UK)
equaled v past p (US)

Not many verbs end in al, to equal has a latin origin.
I never see a verb ending in led unless it had an e at the origin.
to bale : he baled me out.
to inhale: he inhaled deeply.
If you want the a of equalled to keep its subdued pronunciation unstressed, you need to protect it with a double l.
The Americans will put only one l and still pronounce it i:kwld but it is not spelt right from a phonetic point of view.

Re: Why/double consonant from educacion74, posted on 05-02-2021 at 18:16:39 (D | E)
Thank you very much for your help. It's all clear. Great explanation. You can close the post.

Thanks again and have a nice weekend.

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